Posted by: crustynomad | June 4, 2008

Coach potato – scene 5

Here’s the fifth scene of my aborted sitcom. To read the first scene and subsequent scenes go to my post A Good Idea But Too Late.

SCENE 5

BARBERS. INT. DAY

FRANK IS ALREADY INSIDE THE BARBERS AND CAN BE SEEN DISCUSSING A JOB WITH THE OWNER, MR CALLOW, AN EXCEEDINGLY BALD MIDDLE-AGED MAN.

FRANK:
OK, Mr Callow. I’ll fix your sign first and then do that cupboard for you.

MR CALLOW:
Cheers Frank.

FRANK EXITS AND MR CALLOW RETURNS TO HIS CUSTOMER. THERE IS ONE OTHER BARBERS CHAIR WHICH IS EMPTY. MEANWHILE ANOTHER CUSTOMER IS WAITING (NEVILLE) SKINNY, AGED ABOUT 25 AND OF A GEEKY APPEARANCE. EDWARD SITS DOWN NEXT TO HIM AND LOOKS HIM UP AND DOWN.

EDWARD:
Alright?

NEVILLE:
Eh? Oh, yeah, fine.

EDWARD:
Been here long?

NEVILLE:
(LOOKS AT HIS WATCH) I dunno – about 30 minutes or so.

EDWARD LOOKS AT THE MAN HAVING HIS HAIR CUT – HE IS OF AFRO-CARIBEAN DESCENT AND ALMOST AS BALD AS THE OWNER.

EDWARD:
Over 30 minutes? What the hell are they doing? He’s got no hair left to cut. (BEAT) What did he look like when he came in?

NEVILLE:
(SADLY) Much the same.

THERE’S A PAUSE.

EDWARD:
(QUIETLY) It makes you wonder when you see a bald barber. I mean, how can you tell that he knows what he’s doing? (BEAT) I knew this guy once who grew his hair real long at the back and he combed it over so he had a fringe at the front.

EDWARD PUTS HIS HANDS TO THE BACK OF HIS HEAD AND SWEEPS THEM FORWARD TO THE FRONT AND LEAVES HIS FINGERS DANGLING OVER HIS FOREHEAD LIKE A FRINGE. THE BARBER LOOKS ROUND BEMUSED SO EDWARD QUICKLY PUTS HIS HANDS DOWN.

EDWARD:
Sorry.

NEVILLE LOOKS CONFUSED. EDWARD FOLDS HIS ARMS AND SIGHS AND THERE IS ANOTHER PAUSE.

EDWARD:
(SUDDENLY IMPATIENT) Look, I can’t wait here all day. Get up there and say that it’s your turn now.

NEVILLE:
I can’t do that.

EDWARD:
Of course you can. Do you want to stay here indefinitely?

NEVILLE:
Well, no…

EDWARD:
What are you waiting for then?

NEVILLE:
I’d be embarrassed.

EDWARD:
Rubbish. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Life is all about decisions. It’s not circumstances that run our lives it’s our reactions to them. We all have the power within us to change anything if we only have the courage of our convictions.

NEVILLE:
Really?

EDWARD:
Yeah, yeah, of course.

NEVILLE:
I suppose I have been here quite a while.

EDWARD:
An eternity my friend. You’re a busy man.

NEVILLE:
Actually, I’m unemployed.

EDWARD:
Never mind that, your time is precious. You gotta take control of your life.

NEVILLE:
(SMILING AS CONFIDENCE GROWS) Yeah. (BEAT) I can do it can’t I?

EDWARD:
Of course you can.

NEVILLE STANDS UP AND THEN SITS DOWN AGAIN.

NEVILLE:
(NERVOUS) He must be nearly finished by now – I should wait.

EDWARD:
Nonsense. Prove to me and more importantly to yourself that you can do this. (BEAT) What’s your name?

NEVILLE:
Neville.

EDWARD:
Neville? Very butch – I like it. OK then, repeat after me: ‘My name is Neville and I deserve the best. It’s my destiny’.

NEVILLE:
(MEEKLY) My name is Neville and I deserve the best…

EDWARD:
No, no, no, not good enough.

NEVILLE:
(MORE FORCEFUL) My name is Neville and I deserve the best. It’s my destiny.

EDWARD:
Again!

NEVILLE:
(WITH RELISH) My name is Neville and I deserve the best! It’s my destiny!

EDWARD:
Excellent, now get going.

FULL OF PURPOSE, NEVILLE GETS TO HIS FEET AND STRIDES OVER TO THE BARBER AND STANDS JUST BEHIND HIM. NEVILLE GIVES THE THUMBS UP TO EDWARD BEFORE TURNING TO MR CALLOW.

NEVILLE:
(SHOUTING) Hey you!

MR CALLOW:
(STARTLED) Jesus!

MR CALLOW IS SO SURPRISED THAT HE SNIPS THE CUSTOMERS EAR WHO YELPS IN PAIN. HE JUMPS OUT OF THE CHAIR AND IS CONSIDERABLY BETTER BUILT THAN NEVILLE. BLOOD IS ALREADY DRIPPING ON HIS SHIRT.

CUSTOMER:
You bloody maniac, look what you’ve done?

NEVILLE:
(ACTING TOUGH) My turn now, baldy! If you know what’s good for you, you’ll get outta here!

NEVILLE DRAMATICALLY GESTURES TOWARDS THE DOOR LIKE A BASEBALL UMPIRE WHO’S GIVEN A BATTER OUT.

CUSTOMER:
Why you..!

NEVILLE LETS OUT A TERRIFIED WHINE AND RUNS AWAY AS THE CUSTOMER CHASES HIM OUT OF THE SHOP. MEANWHILE EDWARD GETS UP AND STROLLS CONFIDENTLY OVER TO THE BARBER’S CHAIR AND SITS DOWN.

EDWARD:
(SMILING) Just a trim please.

END OF SCENE

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